Walking, Cycling and Horse-Riding Assessment and Review (WCHAR) applies to highway schemes on motorways and trunk roads.
The requirement for a WCHAR for such highways schemes was introduced in November 2019 by (the then) Highways England (now National Highways).
Connect Consultants can take the role of Lead Assessor in the WCHAR process, for which we have IHE and CIHT recognition.
As Lead Assessor, we can produce both a WCHAR Assessment Report and a Review Report. Our role includes assessing the size of the highway scheme, defining the study area, appointing additional Assessors where necessary, undertaking site visits, and producing the report.
An Assessment Report will typically be produced during the options or concept stage of a highway scheme. Where these stages do not exist, an Assessment Report should be produced before the end of the preliminary highway design stage.
A Review Report should be produced during the ongoing stages of the highway scheme, but after the production of the Assessment Report. Small schemes will typically have a minimum of one Review Report, and large schemes typically a minimum of two Review Reports.
It is worth noting that the guidance document for Road Safety Audits on the motorway and trunk road network, GG 119 Road Safety Audit, stipulates that a WCHAR Assessment or Review Report should be included within the Road Safety Audit Brief. This is not specified within GG 142 itself, and it is often overlooked that a WCHAR is required prior to a GG 119 Road Safety Audit being instructed.
GG 142 succeeded HD 42/17, both of which supersede HD 42/05 Non Motorised User Audit (or ‘NMU’) which was introduced in 2005.
Although no longer in use, the term NMU is still informally used in the field of transport planning to describe a review or audit of non-car-user facilities, which differs from the scope of a GG 142 WCHAR. Connect Consultants can also undertake NMU Audits.
Should you wish to discuss the production of a WCHAR Assessment or Review Report to accompany your planning application, please contact James Carver.